|Courtesy of Mugison
|Photos by Runa
This is like a Christmas present for me basically. I have admired this artist for sometime now and
I finally caught up with him this week. A quick backstory if you will. I was in Iceland back in February and I stopped off
in a tiny record store on 15 Skolavodustigur Street called 12 Tonar. This is the coolest music store because the staff will
sit you down, give you a cup of freshly brewed espresso and talk to you about the artist, reccomend music, etc. The one CD
that was the talk of the town was by an artist named MUGISON. From that point on, all I heard about
in Reykjavik was Mugison, Mugison, Mugison. Turns out, they were very right. In short, Mugisons latest album "Mugimama" was
number 1 on the charts, album of the year in all Icelandic newspapers, nominated for 5 Icelandic music awards; Best album,
Best singer, Best male singer, Best song, Best performing artist and Best album cover. This interview was conducted while
Mugison has been on tour. Check out him and his music at www.mugison.com . Thanks Monica for setting this up.
Rob- What have you been working on these days?
Mugison- I´ve been doing a lot of gig´s all over the place, now I´m getting to know my girlfriend again, trying
to do some new music, generally trying to be Santa Claus
Rob- How long have you been performing music?
Mugison- I´ve been doing this for 3 years now. Very lucky, very privileged.
Rob- Who are some of your musical influences?
Mugison- Ahh....., so many. There is so much good music in the world, I´ve been listening a lot to Icelandic music
because it´s the holidays and a lot of new music is released over the holidays over here. I´ve been listening a lot to
Gillian Welch, Will Oldham, Fantomas, Willy Mason, the Black Keys, Jimmy Hendrix, Zeppelin, Sigur Ros, Borgdan Rasinzky..
I could go on for days.
Rob- I discovered you and your music while travelling through Iceland and shopping in 12
Tonar. Can you tell the reader a little bit about that label/store as well as your relationship with them.
Mugison- They have this very nice shop downtown in Reykjavik, I´ve been going in there for years. I used to bring
them my music and they´d sell it and ask for more, eventually they decided they might as well make me a deal and try to make
some money, so now their also a label in Iceland and now becoming the biggest one. Everybody can get really good coffee there
for free and surf the internet and listen to music, I used to just hang around there for days.
Rob- What a lot of people may not know is that in Iceland, you handcrafted your debut CD.
I am looking at my copy right now as a matter of fact. Why did you decide to release your CD this way?
Mugison- Since I wrote most of the music on there, played all the instruments.... did all the work on my own, I
figured I´d go all the way and hand-make 10.000 copies. It took me 2 months to make it. I am very proud of it.
Rob- How long did it take to record that first album?
Mugison- 3-4 months in London.
Rob- Are you a self taught musician or were you formerly trained?
Mugison- I´m self taught as a musician but I´ve got a degree in Recording Engineering.
Rob- Your most recent album, "Mugimama" has gone on to critical acclaim in Iceland. I'm sure
words can't describe the feeling you get regarding the albums success, but humor us anyway if you could.
Mugison- Well it´s all good luck, you know, I´m very grateful for my success in Iceland. I love the country
and it´s people very much.
Rob- Last month "Mugimama" was released in America via Ipecac Records. How did you get involved
Mugison- A girl gave her brother my CD as a Christmas present and that guy happened to be working with Mike Patton. This
guy is called Husky and is a mixing engeneer in LA. They were taking a break and put my stuff on and the next morning
Mike sent me an e-mail.
Rob- For those who don't know, Ipecac is owned by Former Faith No More frontman Mike Patton.
Mike Patton has recorded with fellow Icelandic musician Bjork. Would you ever work with Patton in the future if the opportunity
Mugison- Working with Mike would be a dream come true! I´m a huge fan, although I´ve tried to hide it when I´ve meet
him, just so I won't make him scared. Hopefully there will be a mic turned on somewhere sometime and both of us are in the
room, sometime in the future.
Rob- This has been very exciting for me to finally interview you. I wish you the best of
luck with your music and hope to see you here in Boston or even back in Iceland someday. Takk.
Mugison- Takk to you too Rob, thanks for bothering, I appreciate it. lotta love to everyone in Boston.
|Courtesy of Mugison
|Photo by Runa